City police were checking out multiple addresses today in quest of a 15-year-old they have charged with shooting and killing a 3-year-old East Baltimore boy last night.
The child, Andre Antonio Dorsey, was hit about 7 p.m. by stray gunfire in front of his family's rowhouse in the 900 block of E. Biddle St.
"We believe he's out on the street somewhere," Sgt. George Colvin of the Eastern District said of the suspect, identified as Rudolph Horton Jr. "We don't believe he's staying with relatives right now."
The suspect has been charged with first-degree murder and a handgun count.
"We've checked out about a half-dozen addresses so far," Sergeant Colvin said. "We've got that many more to check out."
All the addresses are in the city, he said, and most are in the Eastern District. Sergeant Colvin said the suspect's legal address is in the 900 block of N. Montford Ave. in East Baltimore.
Police ask anyone with information about the whereabouts of the suspect or the circumstances of the shooting to call the homicide squad at 396-2100.
Investigators believe the suspect encountered an unidentified man on the street. That man ran after the suspect and pulled a handgun. The Horton youth then fired one or two shots in the man's direction, police said, and a bullet struck the 3-year-old in the back.
Andre, the 17th child under the age of 15 to be hit by gunfire in Baltimore this year and at least the seventh to be hit by a stray bullet, was pronounced dead shortly after his arrival at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Andre is the second of those children to die so far this year. The other was a 13-year-old boy killed Saturday in what police believe was a drug-related shooting.
Sgt. Gary Childs, of the city homicide squad, said the suspect saw a man who robbed him a few days ago leaving the Lounge liquor store and bar not far from young Andre's house, and pursued him while pulling out a revolver, either a .32- or .38-caliber.
Sergeant Childs said the man who ran from the suspect escaped. People in the neighborhood provided police with information about the robbery a few days ago, he said.
But Sergeant Colvin, of the Eastern District, said, "There are a lot of stories going around," and none of them have been confirmed.
Sergeant Childs said the pursued man was running directly toward the child when the suspect fired at least one shot.
"I don't know the suspect," Sergeant Childs said, "but he's known to several officers in the Eastern District."
Sergeant Childs said the child was attempting to scurry up the steps toward his front door and was he was hit.
"We think the child's head was hunched down toward his shoulder when the bullet passed through the back and neck and into his head," said Sergeant Childs.
Last night, family members and neighbors sobbed inside
Andre's home, and a female city police officer wept outside the front door as she was comforted by a fellow officer.
"It's sad, it's so sad. Innocent babies are the ones that are paying for this world of drugs," said Rose Long, a close family friend who has lived in the neighborhood for 15 years. "It's drugs, from morning till night, then from night till morning."
Andre is the youngest of eight children in his family, who range in age up to 16, family members said. Most were too emotional to speak for more than a few moments.
Ms. Long said the boy's parents "are poor folks, on social service, and they don't even have the money to bury him. I hope people will help them out."
Shootings killed children ages 6 and 3 a month apart in West Baltimore last year. So many such shootings have occurred in recent years in Baltimore that doctors at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center have been outspoken in denouncing the violence and the availability of guns.
Neighbors around the Dorsey home said they have heard gunshots and seen drug deals going on in plain sight throughout the neighborhood, which has several boarded-up homes and debris lying along the sidewalks.
When a reporter asked about drug problems in the neighborhood, residents laughed at the question.
"You don't know where you are, do you?" one woman said angrily. "This is a battle zone."
Ms. Long said she saw about seven or eight young boys standing at the far end of the street when the shooting began.
She said she was sure that the killing will be attributed somehow to drugs.
"I've lived here for 15 years and seen it get worse and worse each year," she said. "The last few years have been really bad. They shoot kids all the time, like it's nothing."
The victim in Saturday's shooting was Antwan "Troy" Stewart, a seventh-grader who slipped out of his Mondawmin-area home on Holmes Avenue while his parents slept. Shortly after 4:30 a.m., in the 2300 block of Whittier Ave., someone placed a gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger.
City police suspected drugs were involved because empty plastic bags -- a type used to package cocaine -- were found on Antwan's body. But no drugs were found, and the boy's parents said they found it hard to believe their son was involved in such activity.
A suspect, Kevin Felipa, 29, of the 500 block of S. Beechfield Ave., was arrested Sunday night and charged with first-degree murder.